- Disk benchmarking is the operation of running a tool that accurately measures the transfer speed or transfer rate of your disk.
- The test can run under different scenarios such as sequential, random, 4K, deep queue depth, and more.
- Upgrading your conventional hard drive to an SSD can also improve your computer's multitasking and provide you with the greatest computing results.
- So, are you ready for a drive speed test? We gathered the best benchmarking tools available and included them in the list below.
Computers today have some important components and without them, computers cannot operate. One of these components is Hard Disk Drive (HDD).
This hardware holds immense importance because it holds the operating system for your computer to run. The speed of your computer depends on your HDD and if it’s slow, your computer will lag whether you have a high-performing CPU and memory.
Multitasking also gets difficult due to lagging in computer hardware. This is the reason why high-performing HDDs are popular and are highly demanded by many users. Upgrading HDD gives a new better life to your computer.
With the launch of Windows 10, Microsoft has worked quite a bit to make the operating system use the system resources of a computer in the best possible way to provide the best user experience to the user.
In this article, we will tell you more about benchmarking HDD on Windows 10 with a list of programs that you can use to perform benchmarks.
What is Hard Disk Benchmarking?
Windows 10 continues to use NTFS as the default file system for the permanent storage devices installed on a PC running Windows 10.
NTFS is known to provide a better way to index files and keep track of partitions. Microsoft has worked to make file accessing faster on Windows 10 but it also depends on the speed of the HDD.
There are many factors that determine the speed of an HDD such as a driver’s rotation or memory chips and settings such as the mainboard chipset, controller drivers, SATA/AHCI mode, and RAID configuration.
Speed of CPU and RAM also play a small part as well. But the problem lies when you cannot know if your HDD is even capable of working better than it currently is or does it need to be upgraded.
For this purpose, software developers created some software to test HDD in your computer. The process is called Benchmarking.
The need for Hard Disk Benchmarking
Disk benchmarking is the operation of running a utility or tool that accurately measures the rate of transfer or the transfer speed under various disk access scenarios (sequential, random 4K, deep queue depth, etc.).
The purpose of this testing is to figure out in the terms of MBPS the speed and summarise the speed characteristic of the disk.
People involved in Graphic designing, 3D modeling, System admins, and anyone who wants to maximize the performance of their PC find disk benchmarking very useful for this purpose.
There are many Disk benchmarking tools all over the internet. Downloading these tools gives you a strong way of finding the performance of your computer. Also, this kind of software can evaluate how much one adjustment impacts your computer.
But there are so many benchmarking tools over the internet. Which to choose?
For this purpose, we provide you with a list of the 10 best disk benchmarking tools that you can use to check your HDD on Windows 10.
What are the best hard drive benchmark tools for Windows 10/11?
The benchmark pages of AIDA64 Extreme provide a variety of ways for testing system performance and running hard drive benchmarks.
The CPU benchmarks are based on the multi-threaded AIDA64 Benchmark Engine, which can support up to 1280 parallel processing threads.
It is also compatible with multiprocessor, multi-core, and HyperThreading systems. It may appear complicated to use, yet AIDA64 Extreme offers everything in terms of automation.
The CPU AES Benchmark evaluates CPU performance by encrypting data with AES.
You can use the Disk Benchmark module to test the performance of the PC’s storage devices, such as (S)ATA or SCSI hard disk drives, RAID arrays, optical drives, and solid-state drives (SSD), USB drives, and memory cards.
Other key features of AIDA 64 Extreme include:
- Diagnoses installed programs on your PC
- Assessment of Windows settings
- Stress testing
- Software audit
It also enables you to do write tests, which aids in the detection of counterfeit items and problems on the devices. To obtain reliable benchmark results, make sure that all background programs are closed.
AIDA 64 Extreme
CPU and FPU benchmarks are based on the multi-threaded AIDA64 Benchmark Engine, which can handle up to 1280 concurrent processing threads.
Mini Tool Partition Wizard is a lightweight but very well-equipped partition management software.
It integrates several disk performance features that let users see in-depth reports on their hard disks and information on how they can improve their performance.
You can use it to create new partitions, move existing partitions, and convert or split them. It is a secure and fast alternative to performing these actions manually.
This software is suitable even for users that are not very familiar with disk management practices, as it is very intuitive and error-proof.
It saves time and ensures that all actions are done safely, without the risk of data loss or other system problems.
MiniTool Partition wizard has performance assessment features as well, with a disk benchmark option included.
If you are not sure how to start out, you can check the benchmark tutorial directly from the benchmark tab within the UI.
Mini Tool Partition Wizard is able to measure the transfer speed of your disk in sequential scenarios, random scenarios, and more.
Other key features of Mini Tool Partition Wizard include:
- Disk/partition surface test
- Space analyzer
- Merge partitions
- Partitions and disk copy
Mini Tool Partition Wizard is compatible with Windows operating systems. It is a paid product, so if you want to benefit from the above-mentioned features, you will have to purchase a license.
MiniTool Partition Wizard
Take care of your hard disk with easy-to-use partition and performance management tools.
HD Tach is a reliable software solution that lets you perform HDD benchmarks. Despite the fact that the software has been released a long time ago, in 2004, it continues to provide good results.
Even though the technology has progressed tremendously, the software is still able to work on recently released drives.
Note that in order for this software to work on new operating systems, you will have to run it in XP compatibility mode.
HD Tach allows long and short block tests to be run on the HDD and then shows the results through a pop-up window.
It has a good processing speed due to which it takes only one to two minutes to finish up the whole process.
HD Tach displays the result as a graph or as a chart, specifying the read performance, burst speed, and information for CPU utilization, average access time, and average read speed.
Other key features of HD Tach include:
- Easy configuration
- Lets you save benchmark results in a local file
- Keeps track of all past benchmarks
HD Tach can also be made portable. Ever since 2011 HD Tach had reached end-of-life and is no longer being supported, but you can still tweak your settings and use it.
Crystal Disk Mark is prevalent nowadays as a tool for benchmarking because it has multipurpose and it has a good rate of generating results.
This tool works for about anything from USB drives to RAM, SSD drives to Mechanical hard drives. It is very easy to operate for users who do not possess advanced knowledge. You can run more passes to find out relatively more accurate results.
Crystal Mark Drive has an extra option for SSD drives which is considered to be very useful as it allows the user to select whether to fill the data randomly or with 0’s or 1’s. This option affects the result on drives with hardware compression.
Crystal Disk Mark also has portable and installer versions. Now it’s on version 6.0 and it’s still being supported and developed.
This light software is compatible with Windows operating system starting with Windows XP.
Other key features of Crystal Disk Mark include:
- Multi-language support
- Easy to use interface
- Multiple interface themes
Crystal Disk Mark is completely open-source and free. The developer updates the tool based on donations.
ATTO is also one of the most famous portable tools which is being used by many hardware review websites. Some manufacturers also recommend this disk benchmark software to test the SSD drives for speed.
All of the tests performed are sequential and are taken for reading and write operations using block sizes of 512 bytes up to 8MB with a test file length between 64KB and 2GB, all selectable from drop-down menus.
Leaving Direct I/O enabled and the Overlapped I/O option selected will rule out odd results due to any system caching.
Users of this free software say that it provides a very easy and reliable method to test out the speed of your hard disk.
The user interface is clean and easy, with straightforward menus and options.
Other key features of the ATTO Disk Benchmark include:
- Timed mode for continuous testing
- Test RAID controllers and storage controllers
- Compatible with all Windows versions starting with Windows XP
Results obtained through this software can be saved and can again be loaded when required. You can get it for free from the link below or sent to you through email via the official site.
This software is primarily developed to benchmark SSD drives and is very popular. It’s used by many hardware websites to compare different products on their sites and share the results.
This software uses incompressible data due to which some of the SSDs show lower score results than if they compress their data.
Sequential and 4KB read and write scores are displayed along with access times and a final general overall score. The overall view can be changed to IOPS according to the user’s preference.
AS SSD is also completely portable, so you can quickly test out hardware performance without having to install it.
The tool can test out your solid-state drivers with six different synthetic tests and three copy tests.
The user interface is very minimal and easy to use with information about the read and write speeds for sequential, 4k, 4k-64 correspond tests, and access time tests.
Other key features of AS SSD Benchmark include:
- Support for multiple languages
- Compatible with Windows operating systems starting with Windows XP
ASS SSD Benchmark is a free software supported by donations.
This is the most widely known software for Disk Benchmarking. It also has a diagnostic utility. The free version has some issues and is old, but benchmarking works fine.
As a result of the test performed, the graph will show the minimum, maximum, and average read speed along with the average access time in milliseconds and the burst rate.
The block size can be changed in the options from 512 bytes up to 8MB, and a slider can move between faster or slower and more accurate test speeds.
The last version is HD Tune Pro 5.70 and it was released on August 4, 2017. The most important changes in this version are: erase – range can be specified, save options – current pass can be specified and added support for Windows 10 and Windows 11.
Although light and with a very simple user interface, this software is capable of offering in-depth assessments of your hard drive.
It runs full benchmarks and can display SMART attributes, depending on the manufacturer and version of your hard drive.
The software is compatible with Windows operating systems starting with Windows 2000.
Users can view real-time information about their hard disks and quickly see the minimum, maximum, and average transfer rate.
Other key features of HD Tune include:
- Can autosave screenshots between tests
- Enables AAM to favor low HDD noise
- Support for data wiping
HD Tune Pro is available as freeware and it also has a premium, paid version.
This utility is very comprehensive compared to the other tools and utilities. It runs all the tests and also displays all the results including response time, speed in MB/s, and also IOPS.
Although older, this performance measurement tool is still very capable to provide comprehensive information about hard drives and solid-state drives.
The tool can run multiple performance tests and display read and write rates for all of them in an easy-to-follow table view.
Anvil’s Storage Utilities can run an SSD benchmark, endurance testing, threaded IO/write and read, as well as threaded mixed IO.
If you want to keep track of the testing results and check overtime progress, you can copy them to the clipboard and save them to a document file.
Other key features of Anvil’s Storage Utilities include:
- Portable application
- Information about the Windows Management Instrumentation
- Available for 35-bit and 64-bit PCs
Anvil’s Storage Utilities is free software for Windows operating systems. It can run on all versions of the OS starting with Windows 7.
Disk Thruput Tester is a small and portable disk testing software that analyses write and read scores.
The tool uses Windows core read and write functions t write a temporary file to the specified drive, then reads it back sequentially and randomly to get three resulting scores.
The test file can be between 10 MB and 100 GB with a block size to test of 1KB up to 8MB.
The user interface is simple. All options necessary to conduct disk testing are displayed directly in the main window, as you open the application.
Disk Thruput Tester is able to assess the performance of personal computers that run on 32-bit or 64-bit builds.
Other key features of Disk Thruput Tester include:
- Compatible Windows XP or higher
- Frequent updates
- Customizable test paths
Disk Thruput Tester is free and light software that can be used on any Windows-operated computer.
Roadkil’s Disk Speed is a simple uitily that’s suitable for beginners. It does the expected job of analyzing the disk’s capability and speed to transfer data.
It provides information regarding linear reads, random reads transfer rates as well as the seek time of the drive.
It only runs read tests and displays the score ranging from 512 bytes to 1MB blocks.
At the end of the benchmark, the tool displays an overall score. This can be helpful if you want to keep track of your drives and compare different brands of drives.
The tool detects and displays information about the hardware version such as firmware revision, size, model, file system, and more.
Other key features of Roadkil’s Disk Speed include:
- Simple interface
- Download packages for multiple versions of Windows
Roadkil’s Disk Speed is free software that can be downloaded and used on pretty much any Windows-operated computer.
It’s mostly like Roadkil’s tool, small and portable yet simple in nature, but HD Speed has more configuration options for different kinds of storage devices.
It even has more modes than Roadkil’s: Read+write and Read+Write+Verify. This software however destroys any data that is being tested in writing mode.
Block size can be left at Auto or changed from 1KB up to 16MB, a log file can also be created to review the results.
This tool is able to test multiple storage devices such as hard disks, DVDs, CDs and supports NTFS and FAT32 formats for hard disks.
The results are displayed in a comprehensive graph paired with quick information regarding bytes/sec, current and average speed rates, and more.
Other key features of HD Speed include:
- Easy to use
- Can test removable media
HD Speed is a freeware compatible with Windows operating systems. The user interface is a little outdated, but the tool itself is still very reliable and capable to analyze the performance of your hard disk.
It is a tool that displays plenty of information after a test about average, maximum, minimum, and last read and writes scores.
The scores are projected as a raw number form and as a graph, as well. Configuring this software for tests is really a difficult task, mainly changing the set size.
The tool uses multiple options that help you determine the performance level of your hard drive.
You can set up test parameters yourself. Just select the disk you want to test, buffer size and the number of the file size written on the disk.
The tool provides a performance graph where average values are displayed along with any fluctuations, minimum and maximum read and writes rates.
Other key features of DiskMark include:
- Open Source
- Compatible with 32-bit and 64-bit builds
DiskMark is free software that is compatible with PCs that run Windows XP or higher versions of the OS.
As you can see, there are many benchmarking tools and more are being developed every day. We covered the most important ones and their features.
If you are looking for a benchmarking utility for your Surface tablet, check the Disk Benchmark official app from the Microsoft store.
Don’t forget to tell us in the comments section below what is your favorite hard drive benchmarketing tool and how often do you use it.
If you like keeping everything in order, here’s a collection of handy Windows tools.
Explore our dedicated Hard Disk section to learn how you can fix various HDD/SSD issues.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can use Windows’ built-in “winsat” feature, but you’ll need to run it from a CMD window and it’s not exactly user-friendly. Instead, you can use some of the benchmark tools we’ve included in our list, as they have GUIs (Graphical User Interfaces) and can provide you with more useful data.
There are a few things you might want to do if you want your hard drive to be in its top shape for a long time. For instance, you can scan, clean and defragment it on a regular basis, perform clean installs of your operating system every now and then, disable the hibernation feature, and even convert its partitions to NTFS.
No, technically speaking, a smaller hard drive can perform just as good as its larger counterpart, if they share the same (or similar) speed. The reason why larger hard drives seem to work better is that they usually comprise newer, faster technology than small-capacity ones.